They call it the 'Pennsylvania Caribbean,' but you wouldn't catch me swimming in those waters.

Residents of a pond located near the Pennsylvania and West Virginia border were promised a paradise, but instead, they found a toxic, coal-ash-soaked reality. Here's how they're responding.

When developers approached the residents near Little Blue, a small body of water located near the Pennsylvania and West Virginia border, they were told that the installation of a nearby coal plant would improve their quality of life, giving them beach-like landscapes made from hardened, supposedly harmless, coal ash.

As the lengthy list of elements and compounds found in coal ash might suggest, however, there was nothing harmless about what residents would have to endure.


After the plant was put into action, residents began to notice changes in the water's color and the air's smell, leading many to wonder whether life's most basic necessities — air and water — were even safe to consume.

Residents weren't about to take this lying down. Instead, they launched the legal battle of their lives, and in 2012, it was announced that the plant would close. While this is a victory for the area's residents, the damage to their property and health has been done. Some residents have filed suit against the plant's operator. Sadly, Little Blue is far from the only area contaminated by coal ash, and so the fight to preserve land continues on.

If you think our health and the environment are worth fighting for, send a message to the Environmental Protection Agency pressuring them to finalize new rules on coal waste disposal.

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Photo by Toni Hukkanen on Unsplash

Are looks more important than the ability to get through a long work day without ending up with eyes so dry and painful you wish you could pop tem out of your face? Many employers in Japan don't permit their female employees to wear glasses while at work. Big shocker, male employees are totally allowed to sport a pair of frames. The logic behind it (if you can call it that) is that women come off as "cold" and "unfeminine" and – horror of all horrors – "too intelligent."

Women are given excuses as to why they can't wear glasses to work. Airline workers are told it's a safety thing. Beauty industry workers are told they need to see makeup clearly. But men apparently don't have the same safety issues as women, because they're allowed to wear their glasses square on the face. Hospitality staff, waitresses, receptionists at department stores, and nurses at beauty clinics are some of the women who are told to pop in contacts while they're on the clock.

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Beluga whales are affectionately known as sea canaries for their song-like vocalizations, and their name is the Russian word for "white."

They are sociable animals that live, hunt, and migrate together in pods, ranging from a few individuals to hundreds of whales. However, they are naturally reticent to interact with humans, although some solitary belugas are known to approach boats.

Once such beluga that's believed to live in Norwegian waters is so comfortable among humans that it played fetch with a rugby ball.

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No reward comes without risk - or in the case of Vilnius - risqué. The capitol city of Lithuania has a population of 570,000 and regularly makes lists as an underrated and inexpensive European destination. Lonely Planet called it a "hidden gem" of Europe. In 2016, it was rated the third cheapest destination for a bachelor party in Europe by FairFX. And you've probably never heard of it. In August of 2018, the city started running racy ads to increase tourism, calling it the "G-spot of Europe." The ad features a woman grabbing a map of Europe, clutching the spot where Vilnius is located. "Nobody knows where it is, but when you find it – it's amazing," reads the caption.

VILNIUS - THE G-SPOT OF EUROPE youtu.be

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The truth doesn't hurt for an elementary school teacher in California who's gone viral for teaching her class an empowering remix of one of Lizzo's hit songs.

Ms. Mallari — who teaches at Los Medanos Elementary School in Pittsburg, east of San Francisco — took the singer's song, "Truth Hurts," and reworked the lyrics to teach her students how to be great.

Lizzo's song made history this year for being the longest running number one single from a female rap artist. The catchy original lyrics are about boy problems, but Mallari's remix teaches her students about fairness, helping each other out, and embracing their own greatness.

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